Purple dinosaur stopping speeding in Edith Weston
Why was the dinosaur standing at the side of the road?
This may sound like the beginning of a rubbish joke but instead it is the unusual way, speeding is being stopped in Edith Weston.
After increasing concerns about drivers racing down Manton Road, an anonymous parent decided to take the issue into their own hands - or claws - before there is a tyrannosaurus wreck.
“I was inspired by the children after they were talking about road safety,” he said.
“On Amazon I spotted a big purple dinosaur costume which I knew would get people’s attention.”
Dressed in the purple costume - which is more menacing than Barney-like - he stands at the side of the road hoping the unusual sight will slow speeders down.
Mr Dinosaur, as he is known by the children, created a sign from an old curtain pole which draws the driver’s attention to the nearby Edith Weston Primary School and the 30mph speed limit.
Although an amusing vision, the man behind the dinosaur has a serious message.
He said: “A lot of the time parents want to walk their children to school if they can but the road is just too dangerous.
“It only takes a little wobble or gust of wind to stumble off the curb.”
He added: “When people drive along they see hedgerows and it looks like open countryside so they don’t know they are near a school.”
Headteacher of Edith Weston Primary School Penny Rawlings also puts the issue down to people not realising the school in Weston Road is there.
With pupils keen to be able to feel safe walking or cycling to school they have created a campaign to stop speeding.
Year 6 pupil Sofia Milburn said: “I don’t like the way the cars make you feel unsafe.”
A recent project included creating a poster, with the top six to be reproduced and put around the village.
Although some of the children were initially unsure about the 7ft creature wandering around, jokes from the T-rex have put them at ease as well as reassurances that ‘children are too boney for a dinosaur to eat’.
Now a local celebrity among pupils, the friendly dinosaur features in many of their posters.
The unconventional method to stop speeding has got people talking and slowing down - but Mr Dinosaur still believes more needs to be done.
“All the comments I have had are positive. If anyone has been gesticulating to me I can’t see them as it is so steamed up in here,” he joked.
“Most people wave and smile, and they are slowing down.
“Drivers for local businesses give me a little beep and are starting to expect a little dance, which I do for the children.”
Villagers are calling for suitable traffic calming measures to bring down speeding and for more 30mph signage.
“For the children’s safety something needs to be done,” he said.